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Intercollegiate Specialty Fellowship Examination (JCIE)

Exam overview

Intercollegiate specialty fellowship examinations are offered by the four royal surgical colleges (England, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Ireland). On passing the specialty fellowship examination you can join the RCS as a fellow

The Joint Committee on Intercollegiate Examinations (JCIE) is responsible for the supervision of standards, policies, regulations and professional conduct of these exams.

First 2 FRCS: Make sure your RCS England membership is active at the time you sit the FRCS exam to benefit from our First 2 FRCS membership package. You can save £357 in your first two years of fellowship


1. The applicant must hold a medical qualification recognised for registration by the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom or the Medical Council of Ireland. The applicant must have been qualified for at least six years.

2. The applicant must provide evidence of having reached the standard of clinical competence defined in the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum either for the award of the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) by the General Medical Council Postgraduate Board or for the award of Certificate of Specialist Doctor (CSD) by the Irish Surgical Postgraduate Training Committee (ISPTC). The required standard may have been achieved through training or qualifications, and experience considered together. The passing of the Intercollegiate Specialty Examination alone does not imply that the CCT, CSD (Ireland) or placement on the Specialist Register will be automatic; the examination will form only part of the evidence required.

3. This evidence must consist of three structured references in the format prescribed by the Joint Committee on Intercollegiate Examinations (JCIE). These references must be completed by the appropriate senior colleagues with direct experience of the applicant’s current clinical practice in the appropriate specialty.

4. Candidates will have up to a maximum of 7 years to complete the examination process as follows:  

Section 1: Candidates will have a two year period from their 1st attempt with a maximum of 4 attempts with no re-entry

Section 2: Candidates will have a maximum of 4 attempts with no re-entry

Exam format

Section 1: Paper 1 (2 hours): Single Best Answer (SBA) and Paper 2 (2h 30min): Extended Matching Items (EMI). These papers are carefully prepared to cover the curriculum content. A process of standard setting is performed by trained and experienced examiners to set the eligibility to proceed mark. Section 1 exams are delivered via computer based testing at Pearson VUE Test Centres throughout the UK and Ireland.

Section 2: Clinical component consisting of a series of carefully designed and structured interviews on clinical topics, some being scenario-based (structured orals) and some being patient-based. The standard of the pass mark is set at the level of a day one consultant in the generality of the specialty.


The applicant must provide evidence of having reached the standard of clinical competence defined in the Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum

More information

For full details about the intercollegiate speciality fellowship exams and how to apply please visit the JCIE website.